Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is among my top ten favorite books of all time. This action-packed, throwback-filled, exciting trip back to the 80s, set in the not-so-distant future. I first read this book back in late 2016, and picked it up to read again in anticipation of the movie being released this week (!!!!!). The first time I read Ready Player One, I picked it up on a whim. It was on sale on Kindle and the premise sounded cool. Little did I know, I was about to be immersed in an incredible universe wrought with 80s references and geek heaven as far as the eye could see.
Wade Watts is a teenager in the year 2044. He lives with his aunt in “the stacks,” a trailer park with trailers stacked one on top of the other in Oklahoma City. The world has gone from a land of plenty to a dystopian wasteland with an energy crisis. The only escape from dismal existence is the OASIS, a virtual reality online world where citizens can log on and escape. They can shop, explore, join chat rooms, and even go on quests and level up. On the OASIS, your privacy is completely protected and you can be whoever you wish, whether that be the opposite gender or a completely different species. The OASIS is also chock-full of references to and celebrations of the 1980s, the decade its creator, James Halliday, was a teenager. When Halliday dies, he leaves the entire OASIS and his fortune to the first person who can find the “Easter egg” hidden in the virtual world. But five years pass, with no one being able to make it past the first clue. Until one day, Wade Watts puts the pieces together. And suddenly, the race to find the keys, get through the gates, and find the Easter egg (and win Halliday’s fortune) is back on. And it’s going to be a wild ride.
Ready Player One was incredible. Both times I read it, I could hardly put it down. In fact, this time, I read it in one day. This book has all the makings of a classic, cult favorite, especially with the movie coming out this week. And it’s not just the epic video games and 80s references. The story itself is an exciting tale of taking back freedoms, true friendship, and the importance of the real world. I love everything about Ready Player One, even the frustrating parts. Every time I read it, I felt as if I was being immersed into the OASIS and fighting alongside Wade/Parzival, Art3mis, Aech, and the others as the raced the rest of the world and the IOI corporation to find the Easter egg first. Ready Player One will always be in my top ten books.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline gets 5/5 stars.